I’ve been thinking some about solitude. This past weekend I spent 5 AM Saturday till 9 PM Sunday without talking or communicating with anyone practically. Everyone around me was speaking a different language and I was not connected to email or phones. And I was pretty much at peace with myself – indeed, I enjoy my own company and can easily entertain myself with my own thoughts (or a good book, of course). But this 48 hour stint of solitude made me reflect on the common personality question: Are you an introvert or extrovert? I think to the outside world I am perceived as highly extroverted – I thrive on social interactions and communication skills are my strong suits. I would consider myself charismatic. (I will dutifully add that in 8th grade I was voted "Most Popular," which I think says something BAD about me at that point in my life…the popular kids from middle school usually turn out to be the jerks and bullies later on. I will also add that charisma is highly overrated.)
At the same time I see myself as concurrently introverted. Many of my school peers seem to only operate when interacting with friends. Friends, friends, friends. If you’re not hanging out with someone, then life sucks. There are many times when I would much rather be alone than with others. Perhaps when my school peers are alone they are trapped amidst their own thoughts and opinions, and they don’t like them. When I’m alone I am trapped in a metaphysical Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, with each door leading to another room filled with ideas, problems, solutions, arguments, analyses. In my opinion you cannot truly think deeply when you are surrounded by others.
So I guess I’m somewhere in the middle of the introvert/extrovert continuum – I get an intellectual and emotional high off of social interactions while also prospering when I’m alone.